Nordmarka is often mentioned as the best Oslo has to offer, but few experience the deep forests farther north. Here is a nature reserve with a primeval forest and nature that can best be described as wild.
What you need to bring: hiking shoes, comfortable clothes, special equipment if needed.
❗️ Please notice: We accept deposit payments for this tour. No need to pay the full price right now 🙂 Check payment options under the Calender.
The group meets at Jernbanetorget in the city center. We, and the canoes, are transported to our starting point, Mylla Lake, which is 40 km north of Oslo. We are now in a different county, called Oppland. In three days and two nights we will be back in the city. For now, we start day 1 with basic training, learning safety tips and how to use our canoes. We then pack all our gear and food into the canoes, and we are on our way.
In total we will paddle across 12 lakes. Between the lakes, we will pull the canoes on wheels on a gravel roads. It’s a surprisingly efficient and a pleasant way of transporting the canoes on land. On the first day we will paddle across seven lakes: Mylla, Ølja, Tverrsjøen, Skarvvatnet, Pershusvatnet, Aklangen and Katnosa. This part of the forest is filled with peace and solitude, as well as with beautifyl sceneries. Although not so far from civilization in miles, this area is one of the least traveled and most untouched in the entire Nordmarka. Here there are no cars, buildings or any kind of man-made noise or pollution. As we cross this land and these lakes, you can truly disconnect with the hustle and bustle of life “back home” and re-connect with your own heartbeat and the beauty of nature. In the evening we set up camp and settle down for the night at the southern end of Katnosa Lake.
Katnosa is a true “pearl” and hiker's favorite spot in Nordmarka. There is an unmanned tourist lodge in a stunning setting. You are now in the heart of Nordmarka forest, and you will always remember this place simply because of its tranquility. We try to use as much fresh and local food as we can when we make a camp night dinner. If we are lucky, we can have fresh fish from the lake. Depending on the season, we can also include foods from the very place we hike, like mushroom, berries and honey from the bees. As the night ascends upon us, we sit around the campfire. We can share some stories from our lives back home. The guide can tell a tale or two of life the people who lived in this area. The Nordic summer nights are epic, as it barely gets dark. Our position so far north, and the way the world turns, allows us to enjoy a night outside wrapped in warm light. The sun goes down, but the period from dusk to dawn is very short. As we settle in for the night, we can still hear the busy workings of animal life around us. This is their kingdom. The summer season is short, but prosperous. Birds chirping, fish are “wading”, and you can even possibly hear the callings of foxes, deer, predator birds.
In the morning you can go for that refreshing morning swim if you dare. The water is very clean and refreshing. Today´s journey starts with the longest stretch of wheeling the canoes on land, but it’s on a smooth and flat gravel road. On the way we cross over into Oslo’s city limits again, but we are still deep inside the forest. We pass Oslo’s highest peak, Kjerkeberget (“Church Mountain”). The view from the top is stunning. It even has its own watch tower. Depending on our speed, we will paddle across 3 or possibly 4 lakes. The lakes Sandungen, Hakkloa and Bjørnsjøen are truly beautiful. Crossing them feels like crossing small oceans. These lakes have small islands and we can choose one to stop at, for lunch. Here we are all by ourselves – and it feels like an expedition! We are now in the southern parts of the forest and closer to the city. In this area we will see more cottages and hikers, even bikers and runners. There are several lodging cottages that serve food and drinks. We might very well stop here for some waffles and hot chocolate.
On the last day of our adventure we again cross some exotic and tranquil lakes, Rottungen and Øyungen. From the grand and vast lakes from earlier, we are now paddling across smaller lakes with narrow passes, twisted formations and lonesome islands. It’s the perfectending to this long adventure. As we paddle our way to the southern shore of the great Øyungen lake, we find the ending point of our trip.
Nordmarka is located in the north of Oslo. It is filled with picturesque lakes. Our Canoe Adventure is an out-of-this-world experience to paddle across lakes, enjoying the landscape. The trip is comfortable, as all of our gear can be carried in the canoe. In the summer Norwegian nights are short, and it barely gets dark in Oslo area. The long and light Nordic day gives us a unique opportunity to have this outdoor experience. In the summer months the lakes are full of fish, and the forests are filled with chirping of birds.
The adventure requires some experience with longer hikes, but no canoeing experience is required. Don't worry, will teach you how to paddle and enjoy this trip fro 100%!
Nordmarka invites the traveller to experience a unique and wild nature. But also there is a system of hiking trails and tracks for bikers and cross-country skiers. Various cottages (staffed and unstaffed) offer accommodation and food. By law, everyone in Norway is free to hike and camp in the entire area if it’s no longer than 3 days in a row and without polluting or littering.
This area is not just a hiking paradise – it can tell many stories, secrets and hides mythical creatures from Norwegian Sagas. Nature mysteries tell us about the giant trolls and “forest people” – a small and shy folk living under the ground. You will learn more during this Adventure Tour.
In hard times, the forest helps people to survive. Many Fins emigrated from Finland in the eighteen century and set up small cottages and farms in the forest. Today they are long gone, but many of the names still remain. We will see some of the remains of these settlements. In spite of its proximity to the capital, the vast forest was a way to stay out of theway of the authorities and the long arms of the law. Criminals, outcasts and other homeless people would have their hideouts here. Today, some of the caves and shelters used by these “robbers and bandits” are still can be found. During the dark times of Nazi occupation in the war years, Nordmarka was widely used by the resistance movement. There are even a few plane wrecks from the war years still lying in the deep forest.
Check the DNT (The Norwegian Trekking Association) website, where you can find a lot of useful information about canoeing and kayaking in Oslo, and find out how to rent the canoe.
Check the Camping Adventure Calendar above
This tour takes about 52 hours including transportation. The walking distance is 42 kilometers.